Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 56
  2. Negative: 0 out of 56
  1. Sep 19, 2013
    The resulting journey is so singularly devoted to creating a specific tone and atmosphere that you won't likely be able to stop thinking about it until long after you've seen it through to the end.
  2. Aug 15, 2013
    If you’ve grown tired of the same old stuff filling store shelves and hard drive space, then you should really consider Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons for a more unique, emotional ride than you’re likely to see all year.
  3. Aug 12, 2013
    Games capable of forging such a connection with a player aren't legion, and those who literally transform the player himself into that very same connection, even more. Brothers manages to do both, and without ever doing too much, is able in a very short playtime to evoke the sadness of grief, the joy of the discovery of the outside world, the transmission between the generations, the coming of adulthood, and much more, all brilliantly weaved into the gameplay itself. Quite an accomplishment.
  4. Aug 7, 2013
    Enigmatic, deep, poetic, imaginative, intense. Brothers is an emotional masterpiece.
  5. Aug 7, 2013
    It's rare for a game to forge a connection so strong, and even rarer for you to become the connective tissue.
  6. Aug 7, 2013
    Brothers is nothing short of a triumph, glowing brightly in the embers of the dying fire of this console generation and reminding us all why we started playing games in the first place.
  7. Oct 21, 2013
    Brothers is a wonderful piece of storytelling and a fantastic puzzle game that’ll make you want to hug a loved one. Highly recommended.
  8. Games Master UK
    May 30, 2013
    Short but immensely satisfying, it's Ico meets Limbo in Fable's world. In a word: spellbinding. [July 2013, p.80]
  9. Oct 11, 2013
    A magical journey through the human feelings and the sad sense of loss. "Brothers" is one of those unique games that make the industry proud.
  10. Sep 24, 2013
    Like an exceptionally well-done dramatic movie or must-read book just too good to stop watching or put down, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons has striking visuals, a strong narrative and good-enough puzzles. However, it will be most remembered for its engrossing, dramatic and emotionally charged adventure.
  11. Sep 1, 2013
    At first glance, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons seems to be asking a lot from a prospective player. Its narrative is exposed exclusively through its emotive cast of characters. It provides a grand sense of adventure neatly tucked inside a three hour running time.
  12. Aug 23, 2013
    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons isn't just pretty, it's story is downright magnificent. An at times harrowing but powerful title, it makes a strong case for the categorisation of videogames as art.
  13. Aug 16, 2013
    You know that feeling when you pull away from the last page and feel as though you've experienced something nobody else has? If you're paying attention, that will happen with Brothers. Sure, it doesn't take long to complete the whole experience and see everything there is to see, but the story is told in such a way that it takes just as long as it needs, taken directly out of Portal's script-writing playbook. On that same note, this too is an experience people should be touting as a beautiful demonstration of video games as art.
  14. Aug 16, 2013
    It does something no other medium could accomplish, and while it suffers the occasional misstep along the way, what comes before is an endearing and wholly accomplished adventure that makes Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons a powerful experience recommended to all.
  15. Aug 14, 2013
    An an usual game, with a mature and touching plot in a fantastic and dangerous world. You'll need some time to get used to the unique double-character control system, but that's a tiny gem you shouldn't miss.
  16. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is short. I finished it in a single three hour Sunday afternoon session...But it’s also immensely gratifying.
  17. Aug 13, 2013
    Between the clever level design, the game's gentle way of teaching you the mechanics and the simple, heart-felt story with it's phenomenal finale, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons should be played by pretty much everyone.
  18. Aug 10, 2013
    Oddly enough, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is more about the journey than the destination. It’s sobering, funny, heartfelt, and inspirational all at once, sprinkled with some real life lessons in between. If this is what Starbreeze Studios is truly capable of, then we’re ready to see plenty more — especially if it means more interesting experimental mechanics like the ones exhibited here.
  19. Aug 9, 2013
    A stunning adventure, a powerful trip blessed by an incredible art direction and the first "single player cooperative game". It's not perfect and it's short, but it's worth a ride.
  20. Aug 7, 2013
    Brothers tests the limits of what games are capable of communicating and, in doing so, strengthens the medium as a whole, if only a little. The game's final moments moved me to tears in the act of pressing a button. Not because it triggered some heart-wrenching dialogue or sorrowful music, but by the implications of the mechanic itself.
  21. Aug 7, 2013
    It’s the rare game that gets better the more you play. The three or four hours it will likely take you to run through it from beginning to end will pass almost before you know it and, as the credits roll, one of your first thoughts will probably be that it’s not too soon to experience it all again, if only a couple of times more.
  22. Aug 7, 2013
    The game as a whole is lacking in substance and rough around the edges, but Brothers' fantastic ending makes it a triumph all the same.
  23. Aug 7, 2013
    A extremely pleasant surprise that deserves a break from all those action games to be enjoyed. The innocence of these two brothers is one of the best downloadable games of the year.
  24. 90
    Despite some slight technical let downs, and a few underwhelming aesthetics, Brothers is a rather beautiful tale of love and loss, of fables and fairy tales, and of family most of all. [July 2013, p.78]
  25. Aug 27, 2013
    The adventure of the Swedish guys has all the charm of independent games. At a cost of about 15 € we absolutely recommend the purchase.
  26. Aug 26, 2013
    The Summer of Arcade titles are always very strong, but Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is already the ultimate winner. It's a sad story about two brothers, but before you reach the end you will have a lot of fun playing this game.
  27. Aug 7, 2013
    The melancholy can swell at times to border at overbearing, and one or two real head scratchers would have been nice, but Brothers is a yarn that hopefully won’t be forgotten after fussy first looks.
  28. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 5, 2013
    An excellent action adventure in a beautiful and mysterious fantasy world. The atmospheric story is quite sad. [Sept 2013]
  29. Aug 8, 2013
    Brothers is a beautiful tale of love and loss, a great way to kick off the Summer of Arcade.
  30. Aug 26, 2013
    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an experience that doesn't hit Xbox Live Arcade too often. It has a story that doles out a familiar tale but tells it in a way that feels more personal despite the lack of a familiar language.
  31. Aug 13, 2013
    Truly a hidden gem, amazingly emotional and well crafted. Only the simplistic nature of most of its puzzles limits its brilliance.
  32. Aug 8, 2013
    Developers as brave as these should be recognized and celebrated for their efforts, and players who crave something deeper and more meaningful than another shooter with talky cut-scenes would do well to take this journey.
  33. 84
    The simple fact is that Brothers is an amazing experience, filled with clever little challenges, an eerily quiet ambiance, and emotionally deep stories. Not many games have all of that at once, and you'd be doing yourself a disservice by skipping this one.
  34. Aug 19, 2013
    A world full of darkness and fantasy combined with a fascinating story makes Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons a memorable experience. The controls can be quite difficult, despite the low difficulty of the game itself, and the game is a bit on the short side. Yet, the game has the right idea and links a convincing world to it.
  35. Aug 7, 2013
    In all, it’s a good game that feels like a bit less than the sum of its parts. While I appreciate Brothers’ languid storytelling, I can’t help but feel as if the game had pretentions of being a much deeper experience than what has actually been delivered.
  36. Aug 6, 2013
    It’s a unique twin-stick adventure brimming with imagination that shows in its art and dual-action puzzles.
  37. Sep 2, 2013
    This emotional and powerful story about two brothers and their sacrifice is told in a way that’ll make you take a step back think. Starbreeze tells us multiple stories, all set in a brutal and unfair world, where family is everything that matters. The control system is quite unique and will probably not suite everybody, but they are interesting enough to make even the simplest puzzles exciting.
  38. Aug 23, 2013
    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons offers one of the most original and refreshing ideas of 2013, and any fan of games that dare to be different has to try this one out.
  39. Aug 19, 2013
    It’s a terrific journey, culminating in a moment that weds narrative and mechanics to captivating effect. It is something of a shame that Brothers doesn’t entirely capitalise on its central gameplay idea, but it never truly fumbles it either.
  40. Aug 13, 2013
    If you’re looking for something a little bit different, and that can be easily and quickly consumed over two or three days, then Brothers A Tale of Two Sons might be one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the gaming year so far.
  41. Aug 13, 2013
    The themes and ideas explored in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons are not new to video games, but very rarely are they executed upon as skillfully as they are here.
  42. Aug 8, 2013
    This isn’t so much a game as it is an experience and it’s something that I recommend everyone should experience. While the controls can be troublesome and there are a few gimmicky moments, this is probably one of the most emotionally powerful stories of the year.
  43. Aug 7, 2013
    An ambitious, emotionally affecting adventure that's short, but oh so sweet.
  44. Aug 7, 2013
    I’ll happily trade 10 minutes of frustration for those brilliant instances where everything just slots into place.
  45. 80
    The worldless storytelling is some of the most compelling of the year and the purposefully frustrating control system an outrageously daring experiment.
  46. Aug 7, 2013
    That's precisely what makes Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons so endearing -- the undeniable contrast created by the highs and lows that come with the entire experience being driven by love. It's so strong that it even dwarfs the game's core mechanical flaws, making them feel trivial when they should sully the whole affair.
  47. Aug 7, 2013
    My only real complaint is that 1200 points may be a bit steep for a game that can be finished in a few sittings and has minimal replay value. Still, it’s a good start to the Summer of Arcade, and anyone looking for something different will do well to check it out.
  48. Aug 7, 2013
    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a wonderful example of video game storytelling done well and a great way to kick off the Summer of Arcade.
  49. Jul 24, 2013
    It packs a lot into its short playtime but still manages to pack an emotional wallop. With intriguing puzzles and solid gameplay, Starbreeze earns every moment. [Issue#100, p.84]
  50. 80
    It's truly a wonder what could've fizzled into a pat, saccharine-sweet puddle of a tale ends up being much more, making Brothers an experience definitely worth having. [July 2013, p.70]
  51. Aug 9, 2013
    While the emotional storytelling, the control concept and the on-the-spot soundtrack shine, the gameplay itself is rather bland. The puzzles are not worth mentioning and even the boss fights are rather dull and predictable.
  52. Sep 1, 2013
    Brothers is a touching story that strays from the cookie cutter formulas we’ve come to expect from the industry. The brothers’ journey is full of raw emotion, even if it borders on the line of pretentious at times.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 325 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 71
  2. Negative: 0 out of 71
  1. Aug 7, 2013
    Wonderfully inventive game with stunning graphics and a breathtaking atmosphere. Follow the two brothers on an epic journey to find a cure forWonderfully inventive game with stunning graphics and a breathtaking atmosphere. Follow the two brothers on an epic journey to find a cure for their sick father. The game feels almost like an interactive story book and brings you back to childhood mysteries and adventures. Although quite short, this is a game that will completely overtake you for a good three/four hours and leave an imprint lasting a lot longer than that. Buy it and discover just how fantastic a video game can be! Full Review »
  2. Aug 7, 2013
    A beautiful game with unique gameplay and interesting "puzzles" to solve. Mostly stunning graphics and a great mood. Love it and can't waitA beautiful game with unique gameplay and interesting "puzzles" to solve. Mostly stunning graphics and a great mood. Love it and can't wait for a follow up. Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2013
    Brothers an almost flawless experience. It is driven by a single vision that seamlessly combines game mechanics, storyline and emotionalBrothers an almost flawless experience. It is driven by a single vision that seamlessly combines game mechanics, storyline and emotional message without compromising either the parts.

    In over four hours Brothers offers more genuine feeling and creativity than most stories can handle the quadruple time.
    Full Review »